New York Knicks Leon Rose
New York Knicks

Leon Rose came out from the front office to give his one media appearance this year. That makes two times that the New York Knicks president has spoken to the media since becoming the franchise’s top decision-maker. Both interviews were on the MSG with Knicks play-by-play man Mike Breen.

In other words, Rose has had two interviews since taking over. He’s playing things close to the chest, which is fine, but he should be front and center more than Haley’s comet.

As far as the future, Rose didn’t give away too much information. Unsurprisingly, he defended Julius Randle and Tom Thibodeau’s down seasons.

“Julius is a passionate player,’’ Rose said on MSG Network. “Last year everything went right. This year, things didn’t go right. Things happened on the court, we saw some emotion coming out, saw some things happening. I think it affected his play at times. He felt remorseful for some of those things as he expressed to the fans in his letter he sent.

“[He] was just not comfortable at times. It was just not being comfortable. He gave it his best effort. The three-point shot just didn’t go like last year, and you had teams keying on him more this year. At the end, he made some adjustments. I was proud of the fact he did fight through it.’’


Randle’s numbers look alright (20.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, and 5.1 apg), but they don’t tell the full story of this year. His efficiency was down and his stress levels were up. Whether Randle’s anger was directed at opposing players, the media, or Knicks fans, he was not happy this year.

Given Obi Toppin’s late-season emergence, it’s not wild to think that Randle could be on his way out of town. However, Rose has no incentive to show his cards.

As for Thibs, it looks like he’s going to be back for another season no matter what happens this summer. His insistence on sticking with the veterans came back to bite him this year. Toppin is one example of Thibodeau failing to empower his young players, but Immanuel Quickley is another.

A lead guard is something that the Knicks have been in search of for almost two decades. Although Thibs seemed content to keep Quickley relegated to a second-unit role, he showed that he is ready for more responsibility.

As far as Thibs’ performance goes, I mean he’s one of the best coaches in the NBA,’’ Rose said. “So obviously, none of us are happy with the results this year. But he’s a guy who prepares our team better than anybody. I feel that he’s done a good job under the circumstances.’’

If Rose truly believes that Thibodeau did a “good job under the circumstances,” then the circumstances have to change. Trade Randle and give the duo of Toppin and Quickley more responsibility going forward.

But these are things that we already knew before Rose’s short interview on MSG. He’ll slink back into the front office to continue working behind the scenes. For now, Rose still gets the benefit of the doubt. After all, we are only two seasons into the Leon Rose era in MSG.

But if next season is another disappointment, Rose might not have to worry about his annual media appearance.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.